Back to Steilacoom for another race. I choose the 10K over the 10 miler, so I won't be one of the last ones out there. Also been having fun with speed workouts. That plus added mileage has my legs tired from the start today. No aches or pains, nothing stiff, just a little sore in the big muscles and hard to get moving fast during warm up. This is the price I will pay for the added miles (third week in a row of at least 40 miles) and hopefully it will pay off in future longer races. Today I will be happy with whatever speed as long as nothing hurts.
Roads are a little wet with some puddles, but no rain right now. Warm for January and I will run in short sleeves for the first time in a long while. CCM 2002 T-shirt, but no one comments on it.
Start - Lots of familiar faces. I try to not line up too close to the front, and we are off on time.
Mile 1 - I stayed with Ron for a while, but he is just too fast for me. I can see Ron, Martinho, Mike and Erik ahead of me. Crowded field too, but room to run. Feeling it in my legs and not going as fast as I would like.
Mile 2.5 - Just passed Erik, the others are farther ahead now. The course splits with 10 milers to the left and 10Kers to the right. I have done these races so many times, though I usually do the miles and it has been a few years. I am surprised by the split and now I am running on roads I don't think I have ever been on. The course is well marked, but I was really expecting to be on a different route. Lots of turns and small hills here.
Mile 3.1 - Longer than that on the GPS. Top of a hill and Yannick is there to make sure we turn around. He gives me a split time of 25:10, which is somewhat discouraging. I will need a negative split to get under 50 minutes. Well it does have some nice downhills, but boy do my legs feel tired.
Mile 4 - With a long straight way ahead I see a guy in a purple shirt, then Mike, Ron and Martinho. I might be gaining on Mike and Ron.
Mile 5 - Pass the purple shirt guy and I still see Mike, Ron and Martinho ahead. Not going to get them though. Every once in a while I am able to speed up. I really like this new gear, it feels so fast. But of course I can not hold it long. My overall pace is getting quicker and now I am thinking of going sub 50 minutes.
Mile 5.5 - One guy passes me with strength. So in the second half I will have passed one and been passed by one. I'll take it. Push hard to get to the track. Round the last bend and see that I will get that negative split easily. Keep at it and soon it is over.
Finish - 6.37 on the GPS. We compare GPS mileage and agree that the course is long. In fact, a couple of people who ran it last year are sure that the turn around should have been halfway up that hill, not at the top. I suggest that we have a do over, but no one really wants to run it again right now, and of course I was joking. I was not close to a PR, so I don't mind the bonus mileage, and it was not super long.
Jog a little to cool down and get that 40 mile week in. Cheer in the other runners. Fun to see the fast 10 milers come in. Pedro sighting. Ricki sighting.
Then inside for a baked potato and awards. Results are quickly posted, much faster than in past times here. I get a ribbon for third in my age group (out of four).
I plan to take a couple of extra days off this week and have better legs for the Lake Youngs Nuts Run 50K next Saturday. If I complete that race, this month will be about my 3rd highest mileage ever. So easing back this week seems like the right idea.
29th place of 110